Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Hard Shell

I just deleted a couple of comments by a relative from my Facebook page. I disagreed with what they said. That's all. I didn't feel personally attacked or threatened. I don't expect to "unfriend" my relative. There are lots of things about them I like but we disagree almost entirely on social and political topics. We see the world differently.

I'm sure the opinions I express exasperate my relative. Usually I note them in threads already agreeable to me or on my own page. I never post them on someone else's page. I figure it's my page, my rules. I think it's fine if others feel the same about their own pages. Their rules there is fair. You get to be the "admin" of your own life, at least on social media.

I could argue with my relative and we could throw facts, factoids, opinions and feelings around. That just seems to bring bad energy into my space, though, like stepping in something and tracking it through the house, all the while wondering what the terrible smell is. I don't need that. Neither does my relative.

Likely even the most articulate and thoughtful reasoning for my opinions would not change my relative's mind either. We are both adults with our separate lives and separate experiences leading us to view the world at near opposition. I'm sad that we have these completely opposite views of the world but it's not my place to change someone else.

This isn't the only relative to have views opposing mine. My family's penchant for being dead certain they are right is matched by the requisite hard head. We are a family of opinions. My blood relatives' early family motto was some Latin phrase translating roughly to "my way or the highway," a source of amusement to me in its accuracy. In some cases, it interferes with our relationships, especially when one will say they withdraw all contact until the other gives in to their point of view. I don't think anyone has given in yet. That kind of statement tends to make people hold their own position all the more anyway. People in my family stand on principle a lot, an isolation self-imposed that may or may not be noble. But it always feels noble to the one standing.

Standing one's ground is fine, can be courageous, character-defining. But my sense of things is that you can only really stand your ground on the real estate you own. I have my one vote, my page, my body, my home and even that I share. But within my very personal real estate, I may stand. So no need to fight with my relative. That's what the delete key is for.

The 9 of Pentacles in Tarot defines your personal physical manifestation, your personal real estate, personal boundaries, your own reality. While the Rider Waite Smith Tarot shows a woman in her garden with garden walls, walls that keep in as well as keep out, a favorite detail in that card is the snail. We carry our environment with us on our backs. It may provide respite from the outside world, allowing us to retreat as the Hermit to review, cherish, or sink into oblivion. It provides the hard shell of structure in our lives and may endure long past our soft physical presence. It may protect us too. Nevertheless it is also a burden we choose to carry with us because letting go of it may leave us too exposed.

My shell, my rules, my pace, my consequences--that's what seems like the world of living in a physical manifestation. And if we are snails in someone else's garden, we alone know the Infinity of the interior of that shell, like Dr Who's tardis or Harry Potter's tent, so much bigger on the inside.

Best wishes.